Chris Rock is a trailblazing comedian who is dedicated to the art form. During a recent conversation with The Breakfast Club, Rock explained to hosts Angela Yee and DJ Envy that the concept of “canceling” a comedian can limit the medium that made him a star.
“It’s weird when you’re a comedian because when your audience doesn’t laugh, we get the message. Like you don’t have to cancel us. … They’re not laughing,” Rock said around the interview’s 12-minute mark. “Our feelings hurt. … I don’t understand why people feel the need to go beyond that.”
Because of the close connection that comedians have with their fans/audiences, Rock thinks the idea of an outside source telling the people in attendance how they should feel is disrespectful.
“Honestly to me, it’s people disrespecting the audience,” he continued. “What happens is everybody gets safe and nobody tries anything. Things get boring. I see a lot of unfunny comedians, unfunny TV shows, unfunny movies because people are scared to make a move and that’s not a good place to be. We should have the right to fail because failure is a part of art. It’s the ultimate cancel.”
Despite the way comedians are often viewed by critics, Rock has been hitting the circuit to perfect his jokes because he’s anxious to make a big return to the stage. He feels like his voice and similar voices are needed to help people make sense of what happened over the past year.
“I’m trying to get my act together so I can go on tour next year and really sum up everything that’s happened in the last year and a half,” he said.
Along with venturing back into a post-COVID world, Rock took a risk when he decided to get tattoos later in his life. When asked about the move, Rock described the experience as a father/daughter bonding moment.
“The day [my daughter] was going, she got scared. So she was like, ‘If you come with me, I won’t go crazy,’” he said. “So we got them together. … It was like a bonding thing.”
Watch Rock’s full appearance on The Breakfast Club above.